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David Poland

By David Poland


Ironically, I just saw Hard Candy on my TV this last week, in hi-def. Given the positive buzz, I was not surprised by it. But I thought it was an effective little off-Broadway piece of theater with very stylized production values. Smartly shot in a tiny box of a space, the film worked. Bravo to director David Slade.
But given a little more space and budget, it turns out that Slade really can

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25 Responses to “Wow”

  1. Memo from the office of missing the point:
    Dude, you totally missed the point of the movie.
    The violence that is most striking in 30 DAYS is the violence committed by the NON vampires in the film. The lack of fetishising vampires biting people works here because, well, vampires gots to eat. I’m sick of all this biting in slo-mo and making it look all erotic. The vampires here are treated like sharks in a feeding frenzy and it kicked ass.
    It’s hard to really get into specifics because I don’t want to spoiler anyone, but some of the death scenes in this film actually made my mouth drop open. I couldn’t believe they “went there” but this did…and then went there again.
    I thank the MPAA Gods that this film is gross, bloody and rated R for a reason. I also love Slades visual style in this one. The aerial shot of the town going to hell was amazing and the sparse, gray tones not only paid homage to the graphic novel (without the as late annoying tendency to bring the artwork to life) in a perfect way. The film also reminded me of ALIEN for some reason.
    I do agree that weird stutter slo-mo effect has gotta go. It’s way played out.

  2. David Poland says:

    Well, I will admit that the look piqued my interest in the graphic novel. But the movie does fetishize the vampire attacks… and lets the human off the hook often, even making a head chopped off seem mundane.
    Judged the movie based on what was on the screen, not the notion of what I hoped or expected it was.
    Oh well.

  3. jeffmcm says:

    Alas that it could not live up to the lofty standards of a Marcus Nispel film.

  4. AbeFroman says:

    ^ ZING!

  5. I agree that it started off with a lot of potential and then devolved into a typical pick of the victims one by one flick.
    It was interesting visually though.

  6. David Poland says:

    True enough, Jeff.
    Some might not like the Chainsaw remake, but I would imagine, based on previous discussions, that it was somehow more about it bastardizing their idea of what was important to them about the original Chainsaw and not because Nispel can’t shoot a scene with any tension.
    But thanks for trying.

  7. brack says:

    I couldn’t agree more David. But hey, for those people who can’t get enough vampire action, I guess this will do, though I have to wonder why the vampires had so much trouble killing everyone. They had 30 days for crying out loud, they could’ve torn down every house. I guess the fun is in the chase.

  8. ManWithNoName says:

    I will never understand hating Hostel II but thinking so highly of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake…

  9. Tom Houseman says:

    Why do you crush my dreams, David Poland? I loved Hard Candy, it was one of the best films of last year, and I’ve had my hopes up about Slade’s follow-up since I started seeing ads for it. I’m still going to see it, but I’m getting nervous that it won’t be the brilliant film that Hard Candy was.

  10. brack says:

    ^^^ lol

  11. David Poland says:

    MWNN – I think it’s because I had no great investment in what TCM was, just what the remake was. For me, the most horrible scene in TCM was the cop making the girls lie face down in the dirt… a scene about terror and their anticipation.
    Camera moves through people’s giant gunshot wounds don’t bother me. The guy hanging from the hooks trying to get off of them doesn’t bother me. Hang that same guy naked, bound and gag, upside down, then kill him slowly with a smirk on your face and that bothers me. Rip the skin off Jessica Biel’s body then sell her at a discount… that would bother me.
    Whatever may be inferior about the TCM remake – and I am open to others feeling differently about it than I did – it has motive for the “bad guys” and the “good guys” and it is not about torture for the smirky pleasure of the audience.
    This is the same distinction I make on the Argento, which has many of the grotesque elements, but none of the smirk of Roth. Same with Miike, who can be more visually violent than either, but always has a purpose. And Fruit Chan’s Dumplings, which features ground fetuses, is actually, at its full length, quite brilliant… a high for genre.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    Not really, because I would say there’s as much pandering and gratuitousness in TCM’03 as any horror movie released in the last decade. And no, I would not agree that Nispel can shoot a scene with tension. He can shoot a scene with ‘tension’, i.e. attractive people screaming and pretty cinematography and big mean monsters leering over them, but not the real deal.

  13. Hallick says:

    “There is all the close-up, jerky slo-mo (what is that effect called) stuff

  14. Ian Sinclair says:

    Eli Roth has written to Nikki Finke saying he is no longer going to make any more torture porn. Bad news for all the sickos out there; good news for normal people.
    “As far as violence goes, I think at this point I’ve pushed the boundaries of horror as far as I can, and it’s someone else’s turn to take over spilling blood and guts. I have new challenges and much more ambitious ideas that are not horror related that I’m working on, as well as other artistic endeavors outside of film. I love directors like Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson, who pushed the boundaries of gore and horror in their early career, and then took that same energy and aesthetic and applied it to other genres. I’ll always love horror and I’m sure I’ll make more horror movies, but once you’ve spilled that much blood, you kind of have it out of your system and look for other ways to make audiences scream and cheer and vomit.”

  15. eugenen says:

    “Eli Roth has written to Nikki Finke saying he is no longer going to make any more torture porn. Bad news for all the sickos out there; good news for normal people.”
    I hate this. Why isn’t it enough to dislike the movies? This sicko happens to think the Saw flicks are fun, weird, increasingly baroque little stories. If you can’t take it, don’t watch them. Jesus.

  16. ManWithNoName says:

    Can’t argue with your opinions on Miike, Chan, or Argento, but Nispel is in nowhere near the same league as any of those directors.

  17. David Poland says:

    Eli announced weeks ago that his next film would be a comedy. He’s done dozens of appearances in the last week… so many so that I have done three interviews about him in the last week.
    And why did he “write to” Nikki? Because he is Sony’s bitch during the DVD release of Hostel 2 and the studio that most runs Nikki threw her some meat. Gotta love corporate synergy.

  18. jeffmcm says:

    Having now seen 30 Days of Night, I have to say that I agree more with DP than with Petaluma – it’s poorly directed, disjointed, and badly cast outside of Danny Huston, who’s great. But it also has some things that I liked, like the atmospheric location and the look of the vampire, so: mixed thumbs-down.
    thanks for the quote, Hunter.

  19. jeffmcm says:

    Oh, there isn’t any slo-mo in the film, the visual effect DP was mentioning has to do with a wide shutter angle on the camera. It’s not a post-production effect.

  20. Wasn’t Roth planning a Cell adaptation or something?

  21. Cadavra says:

    The traditional “jerky slo-mo” effect is called step-printing, and it’s achieved by the very simple process of printing each frame two or more times until the desired speed (or lack of it) is achieved.

  22. Well, 30 DAYS is certainly NOT a movie I’m going to spend time defending….I didn’t love it that much. But, I’m surprised people are kind of…universally not liking it. I really liked it and thought the violence was just wicked for a mainstream horror flick. I definitely saw DP’s points (some) and get what people are saying, but I still found it a fun day at the movies.
    I can’t wait for Eli Roth’s comedy….then we will once and for all see how much he hates women and he can’t use the horror guise to cover for it. Should be fun.

  23. IOIOIOI says:

    The Cell adaptation got put on hold due to the book it being based off of… sucking. HIYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
    That aside; 30 Days of night is a goofy horrour flick based off of a goofy horrour comic. I can uderstand like Heat disliked it. Yet… per usual… Heat lashes out at something while clearly loving and defending an utter piece of shit like the Chainsaw remake. This makes him endearing and frustrating at the same damn time.

  24. LexG says:

    Pretty late in the game, I feel this rallied just a little, mostly thanks to Danny Huston and some increased suspense, and nicely haunting final couple scenes, but mostly DP is correct in the absolute directorial incompetence on display for most of the first 80 minutes.
    I kept getting confused as to who people even WERE, which is a bad sign in one of these NOTLD-type siege movies where you’re supposed to be on the edge of your seat pulling for the survivors. This rag-tag crew was so ill-defined I kept trying to search my brain to remember if we’d even met them before.
    Prime example: 3/4 of the way in, Melissa George goes all maternal to protect some child, who I can’t for the life of me remember every being in the movie up till that point. I couldn’t even tell if it was a boy or a girl.
    The passage of time was COMPLETELY unconvincing, the rules of the game were unclear, the spatial orientation was a complete fucking disaster.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

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